The Results Are In
This past week at JCK Las Vegas’ 2018 Industry Trends Breakfast presented by Signet, senior vice president of Reed Jewelry Group, Yancy Weinrich, presented highlights from the first annual JCK State of the Industry Jewelry Report. This survey, which was conducted by GFK and MRI, comprised over 500 responses from jewelry retailers as well as a small sample of manufacturers, wholesalers, and designers and posed questions focusing on the general sentiment towards jewelry retail, and the issues the industry is currently facing.
First things first: the industry is feeling buoyant. When asked about the way the jewelry industry sees itself, 88 percent of respondents said they were at least somewhat, if not very, optimistic about the next twelve months. In terms of challenges posed, the most prominent was the online competition (47 percent of respondents agreed), while other, lesser challenges included the overall economic climate, and lack of consumer and millennial demand.
Speaking of online competition, the rise of e-commerce is obvious, and digital dilemmas are a hurdle for many brick-and-mortars to overcome. The most commonly-identified strategies to do so are improving their instore experience (62%); nontraditional advertising (50%); and using a social media strategy (47%). That social media is a big deal is not lost on respondents—90 percent of them plan to increase efforts on their social platforms, according to the survey, while 80 percent rank social media marketing as one of their most successful business practices.
While online-only stores exist, brick-and-mortar retailers are dipping their toes into e-business, too. A reported 46 percent of jewelers sell goods on their store’s websites, while 55 percent report that e-commerce has increased their business. A reported 59 percent, however, said that e-commerce is less than 25 percent of their business intake.
Let’s talk trends! While a relatively modest number of retailers (19%) claim to sell lab-grown diamonds, 78 percent of respondents expect sales to increase in 2018, while 62 percent of sellers saw an increase in sales over the last year.
Responsibly-sourced jewelry is unequivocally huge, with a whopping 73 percent of respondents reporting that they sold it in their stores, 49 percent reporting that sales are up, and another 49 percent reporting an increase in consumers’ concerns about responsible sourcing.
The female self-purchasing segment appears to be growing, too. According to the survey, 71 percent of female self-purchasers are spending more than $500, while 65 percent of respondents reported an increase in their sales to that segment.
In terms of sales types, custom pieces are way up—59 percent reported seeing an increase—while the sales of watches and charms appear to be going down.
“It is exciting to see the positivity in the industry,” said Weinrich of the results. “This leads us to be encouraged that the JCK Jewelry Industry Confidence Index, which has made its debut at an impressive 88 percent, will stand strong in years to come, and be supposed by growing sales and strong, adaptable, independent businesses.”
Interested in the rest of the survey findings? Download the full report